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Wild Bill Reviews

Director Walter Hill, whose relevant credits include THE LONG RIDERS and GERONIMO, returns to the quintessential American genre with mixed results. As gloomy and elegiac as UNFORGIVEN, but not nearly so well-written, this revisionist examination of the life and legend of "Wild" Bill Hickock is cobbled together from three distinct (and somewhat dissonant) sources: Thomas Babe's stage play Fathers and Sons, Pete Dexter's novel Deadwood, and Hill's original screenplay. The product is an ambitious but awkward movie that jumps forward and back in time; voice-over narration fails to smooth over the choppiness. Nevertheless, it's studded with haunting, melancholy sequences, and Jeff Bridges is one of a handful of contemporary stars with enough stature and substance to carry off Hickock's mythic resonance.